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PennDOT Breaks Ground at New Regional Traffic Management Center

September 09, 2020 12:00 PM
By: Chelsea Lacey-Mabe

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​PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian and District 6 Executive Kenneth M. McClain were joined by Transportation Chairs Sen. John Sabatina and Rep. Tim Hennessey, along with state and local officials on Thursday, August 20 to break ground on District 6's new Regional Traffic Management Center (RTMC) and parking structure in Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County.

Secretary Gramian and the other speakers touched on how the new facility will expand the existing RTMC's capabilities by providing a larger and more modern facility for the management of PennDOT's Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). It will benefit PennDOT's partner agencies, including Pennsylvania State Police, PEMA and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

Secretary Gramian
PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian
"The five-county Philadelphia Region has more than half of the state's ITS, which shows how important this project is to our regional traffic management efforts," said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. "This larger, more modern facility will expand our capabilities for managing safety and traffic flow."

The new center's proposed digital video wall architecture will increase the capacity of video feeds, and seamlessly display both data and video to provide situational awareness necessary for improved response time and decision-making. Video sharing and incident coordination with other stakeholders, partner agencies and the public will be greatly improved with the new ability to transcode more video, at higher speed and quality than the current system. The new data network will be more robust and offer a much greater throughput, which will facilitate more efficient collection and dissemination of traffic incident data to the public and partner agencies.

Executive McClain
McClain speaking, with Secretary Gramian to his left
"The new RTMC will be the technical and institutional hub to bring together the various regional jurisdictions, multimodal transportation interests, and service providers to focus on the common goal of optimizing the performance of our area's transportation networks," said PennDOT District 6 Executive Kenneth McClain. "The facility will also function as an incident command center for handling major events in our area such as the Papal Visit in 2015, the Democratic National Convention in 2017 and the NFL draft in 2018."

The footprint of the RTMC building will be over the western portion of the existing parking structure located on the PennDOT District 6 office property. The existing parking structure will be demolished, and a new, separate parking structure will be constructed. The new RTMC facility will be a two-story office building with an estimated 43,000 square feet. The new parking structure at a proposed two levels above ground will accommodate approximately 250 parking spaces with an estimated 86,000 square feet.

In addition to improving its operation, PennDOT is also dedicated to enhancing the new facility's efficiency and aims to achieve Silver status in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design throughout the design and construction process.

Following remarks, Secretary Gramian, McClain, and the other speakers and project stakeholders donned hard hats and shoveled dirt to mark the groundbreaking. Over the next few weeks, construction will begin with the contractor excavating the site and putting in the foundations for the new parking structure. The entire project is expected to take approximately two years to complete.

Schrader Group Architecture is the design professional and Heim Construction Co., is the construction contractor on the $49.2 million design/build project that is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of General Services (DGS). Construction of the RTMC is financed with both federal and state funds. Construction of the parking structure is financed with 100 percent state funds.

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